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ERIC Number: EJ819869
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0332-3315
Prospects for the Future: The Use of Participatory Action Research to Study Educational Disadvantage
James, Emily Alana
Irish Educational Studies, v24 n2-3 p199-206 Sep 2005
Of all the varieties of educational disadvantage, issues involving students who are homeless, or who move frequently because of poverty, are perhaps some of the most difficult for public school educators in the US to address. Using a pragmatic mixed methods design, this study evaluates the efficacy of participatory action research (PAR): (1) as a mechanism to engage educators in issues of disadvantage, (2) as professional development, (3) as a means of encouraging the increase in three domains of educational practice. Resulting from an extensive review of the literature concerned with the complex nature of homeless education, the three domains measured were: access to services, welcoming school culture, and flexible instructional strategy. Qualitative information was collected throughout the study from interviews, focus groups, and reflective practises. Data were open and selectively coded using "Atlas/ti" software and results were triangulated, when possible, with survey data. Findings confirm that this use of PAR methodology is outstanding in advancing the engagement of educators in issues of disadvantage. Further, as professional development, it is successful in increasing their professionalism, involvement, and knowledge about the complex issues related to homeless and highly mobile students. A range of outcomes and new localized educational practises will be discussed in relation to the size of the locality from which they developed. Implications for new attributes in international educational leadership result from this study. The paper concludes with a discussion as to the potential use of PAR to study educational disadvantage in Ireland.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A